Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. However, several misconceptions surround workers’ compensation in Massachusetts, leading to confusion and misinformation.
These are four of the common misconceptions about workers’ compensation in the state.
Misconception 1: Workers’ compensation only covers accidents
One common misconception is that workers’ compensation in Massachusetts only covers injuries resulting from workplace accidents. However, it also extends to occupational illnesses and injuries that develop over time due to work-related conditions. Examples include repetitive strain injuries, occupational diseases and mental health conditions arising from work-related stress.
Misconception 2: Employees must prove fault to receive benefits
Contrary to popular belief, Massachusetts workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault system. This means that employees are generally entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault for the injury or illness. It is not necessary to prove that the employer or any other party acted negligently or was responsible for the incident.
As long as the injury or illness is work-related, employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Misconception 3: Workers’ compensation claims result in lengthy lawsuits
Another misconception is that filing a workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts will automatically result in a time-consuming and contentious lawsuit. In reality, the workers’ compensation system works to provide prompt and efficient resolution of claims. The administrative process resolves most claims, involving negotiations and hearings with the Department of Industrial Accidents.
While disputes may arise, the focus is on achieving a fair resolution without the need for drawn out litigation.
Misconception 4: Workers’ compensation benefits are insufficient
Some individuals mistakenly believe that workers’ compensation benefits will not cover their needs. While it is true that workers’ compensation benefits may not fully replace an employee’s regular income, they include various forms of assistance such as medical treatment coverage, wage replacement benefits, vocational rehabilitation and permanent disability benefits, among others.
The main goal is to help injured workers receive necessary medical care and financial support during their recovery.
Clarifying the misconceptions surrounding workers’ compensation in Massachusetts helps employees understand their rights and receive the benefits they deserve under Massachusetts law.